There are tons of content being posted on social media platforms every day and according to statistics, more than a handful of them are inaccurate information. Information, especially fake ones, spreads like wildfire on social media. Many social media users do not open a link or take time to read what they see before clicking the share button. This way fake information just continues to spread.
This is about to stop, at least on Facebook. Facebook is testing a new feature that will require users to read articles and confirm before they share. This was announced via Twitter yesterday. The social media giant revealed that this new feature will be available as a pop-up requiring users to read an article that they are about to share. This feature is still being tested and will be rolled out to 6 percent of Facebook users.
Starting today, we’re testing a way to promote more informed sharing of news articles. If you go to share a news article link you haven’t opened, we’ll show a prompt encouraging you to open it and read it, before sharing it with others. pic.twitter.com/brlMnlg6Qg
— Facebook Newsroom (@fbnewsroom) May 10, 2021
” Starting today, we’re testing a way to promote more informed sharing of news articles. If you go to share a news article link you haven’t opened, we will show a prompt encouraging you to open it and read it, before sharing it with others”, the tweet by Facebook Newsroom read.
Although users will still be able to share articles without reading them, Facebook hopes that the new feature will help curb the spread of inaccurate information and help people stay better informed about the articles that they share with others. The feature will only be available to Android users for the duration of the test and will be released to every user once the testing phase has been completed.
In the past, Facebook has been blamed by both individuals and Governments for the spread of fake news on its platform. In July of 2020, about 1,000 companies refused to advertise on the platform because of this.
Facebook isn’t the first platform to devise a means of combating the spread of fake news. Twitter also started testing a feature that would combat the spread of fake news last year. The feature warns users about what they intend to share or retweet.
This is not Facebook’s first attempt at curbing fake news on its platform and this will also not be the last. Facebook promises to ensure that its community is safe for all.